Ultrastructure of ovarian follicles in in vitro perfused rabbit ovaries: Response to human chorionic gonadotropin and comparison with in vivo observations

E. E. Wallach, Y. Okuda, H. Kanzaki, Y. Kobayashi, H. Okamura, R. Santulli, K. H. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ovulation may be achieved and studied in an isolated perfused rabbit ovary upon inclusion of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the perfusion fluid. The ultrastructural features of the rabbit ovarian follicle prior to ovulation in vitro were compared with those in vivo. The perifollicular vasculature was also examined in in vitro perfused rabbit ovaries during the preovulatory interval. Granulosa cells of the preovulatory follicle share many ultrastructural features in vivo and in vitro; however, only small amounts of smooth endoplasmic reticulum (sER) were observed in granulosa cells in vitro after hCG. Ovulation after hCG in the in vitro preparation tends to occur earlier (6 hours) than in vivo (12 hours). Thus, there may be insufficient time and/or gonadotropin exposure to permit full functional development of granulosa cells, as reflected by reduced amounts of sER. Degradation of collagen fibrils was less prominent in the theca externa and tunica albuginea in vitro than in in vivo. Perifollicular capillaries became dilated after hCG, but interendothelial gaps were not observed. Disappearance of surface epithelium in the apex of follicles was similar in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and sterility
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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